Unique Cuestars Championship hat-trick for Portsmouth potter Samuel Laxton

Samuel Laxton, left, with Joe Perry.Samuel Laxton, left, with Joe Perry.
Samuel Laxton, left, with Joe Perry.
The region’s young snooker players claimed three of the four titles up for grabs at the Cuestars Championship day in Swindon.

Samuel Laxton completed a unique hat-trick by winning the Silver title.

Daniel Walter ended his four-year wait for a Bronze winner’s trophy.

And Will Forster won the Six-Reds Challenge.

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Will Forster (right) and Joe Perry.Will Forster (right) and Joe Perry.
Will Forster (right) and Joe Perry.

Laxton has now won three successive championship titles. The 17-year-old from Portsmouth beat rankings winner John Donovan (London) came from behind to win 2-1 in the final at Jesters Snooker Club.

He claimed the Bronze title in 2018 and first won Silver in 2019, both at Jesters. Covid put a halt to plans for championship days in 2020 and 2021.

No-one has ever won three before, let alone in succession, in the 13-year history of the junior circuit.

What makes this more remarkable is that Laxton, who admitted he hadn’t been practising, only made the decision to play the previous evening.

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Daniel Walter, right, with Joe PerryDaniel Walter, right, with Joe Perry
Daniel Walter, right, with Joe Perry

‘My dad (Wayne) persuaded me,’ he explained. ‘He said ‘it’s the last one of the season. You might as well go. Just enjoy it.’

‘I really enjoyed it. It was good. But everyone’s improving so much. It’s getting tougher and tougher every time.’

Reflecting on the reasons why Jesters is such a happy hunting ground for him, Laxton said: ‘The tables are good. There’s lots of space and lots of tables so it’s free-flowing all day. It helps my game – constant playing rather than big breaks.’

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Meanwhile, Walter was quite rightly ‘chuffed to bits’ after claiming his first success on the Bronze Tour at his 24th attempt.

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The 17-year-old from Portsmouth beat Caden Read (Chandler’s Ford) 2-1 on the black from 1-0 down in the final.

‘It feels good to finally win one. I’ve come close a few times,’ he said. ‘I missed a few balls that I shouldn’t have because of pressure.”

Walter - a product of the junior section at Mayfair Snooker Club, Gosport - finished joint runner-up in the Bronze rankings in his fourth season on the junior circuit. He qualified for the knockout stages in seven of the eight legs.

And 16-year-old Forster, from Wickham, edged Harry Wyatt (Ferndown) 2-1 on the black in the Six-Reds Challenge final.

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Connor Benzey (Eastleigh), who is based at Waterlooville Sports Bar along with Laxton and Forster, lost 3-1 in the Gold final to Bradley Cowdroy (Bournemouth).

The trophies were presented by guest professional Joe Perry, who also played 19 exhibition frames against the Cuestars members.